Shaq Faces Battery Complaint


Shaquille O'Neal has been accused of grabbing a woman by the neck while outside a night spot on the grounds of the Disney World resort earlier this month.

Kim Grant, a 23-year-old employee at the complex, was not injured but filed a battery complaint against the Los Angeles Lakers star.

O'Neal's agent, Leonard Armato, dismissed the accusations as "completely false and without factual support."

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"It is unfortunate that Shaquille has to endure these malicious attacks to his character by individuals simply looking for personal gain or to get their name in the news," he said Thursday.

No charges have been filed and the offense would be a misdemeanor, said Deputy Miguel Pagan, a spokesman for the Orange County sheriff's office.

The complaint was filed Tuesday and Pagan said an investigator has not yet been assigned the case. His office will try to speak with both parties and report to the state attorney, who will decide whether to charge O'Neal.

Grant said she notified Disney security, but no report was filed. She said she also informed management at B.E.T. Soundstage, where she was approached by O'Neal and two men Oct. 5.

Walt Disney World spokeswoman Diane Ledder said Grant had a chance encounter with a Disney security guard afterward, but she didn't make a formal complaint until Tuesday. Disney then notified Orange County sheriff's deputies, Ledder said.

"The security guard noticed she was upset and he came up to her and asked if she was all right. ... She didn't characterize what had happened," Ledder said.

Grant said she was standing outside the entrance to Disney's Pleasure Island when the 7-foot-1 player asked her name and inquired if she had friends.

The woman said she tried to end the conversation after O'Neal and the men told her they were "going to look for girls," according to the complaint.

Grant told authorities that she told O'Neal, "Be my guest." At that point, ONeal grabbed her by the neck, pulled her to him and said, "I was just playing. Can't you take a joke?" according to the complaint. O'Neal, she added, then held her by the arm and wouldn't let go until she threatened to file charges.

O'Neal, who used to play for the Orlando Magic, owns a 27,000-square-foot home in Isleworth, a gated community outside Orlando.

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